Meet the 2011 JusticeMakers – Alex Argo Hernowo
Posted by Alex Argo Hernowo at February 24th, 2011
My name is Alex Argo Hernowo from the Community Legal Aid Institute (LBH Masyarakat), based in Jakarta, Indonesia. In Indonesia, people with HIV/AIDS are often stigmatized and discriminated against in almost all aspects of their life, including when they seek access to health service and treatments, education, jobs, and particularly the criminal justice system. Such stigmata surrounding individuals living with HIV/AIDS emanate not only from the community at large, but also from the government. Individuals living with HIV/AIDS are often in need of legal assistance and resources, including educational tools, so that they can better protect their rights against the inherent discrimination in the criminal justice system. Our goal is to provide legal assistance in order to build rights awareness and to empower individuals from the HIV/AIDS community.
Our 2011 JusticeMakers project aims to enhance legal and human rights awareness among HIV-positive social groups using an independent advocacy approach adopted by individuals within their local communities. By providing a wide range of legal education and legal service to people with HIV/AIDS, we hope to see signs of empowerment, characterized by people claiming their rights, enhancing their knowledge about HIV-related legal rights, strengthening their capacity to claim HIV-related legal rights, and improving access to legal advice and casework by and for people with HIV.
Furthermore, our project will allow selected individuals from the HIV/AIDS community to receive more in-depth training to better their understanding of the legal materials being distributed so that they will be able to spread it to their friends and family in the community. This will allow them to act as quasi-paralegals and community advocates to better assist the local community in dealing with criminal defense matters.